29 September, 2020

Amid Mounting Anger Against CAA, A Political Alternative Is Taking Shape In Assam

The CAA has opened an old wound in Assam where the people who identify themselves as indigenous have been demanding deportation of all “illegal im­m­igrants”, irrespective of religion.

Amid Mounting Anger Against CAA, A Political Alternative Is Taking Shape In Assam

The traditional bonfires during Magh Bihu this year were fuelled by anger, the raging flames during the mid-January harvest festival turning into a metaphor for the underlying sentiments across Assam. Into the bonfires went copies of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the contentious legislation that has triggered mass protests across India, and left several people dead in police action. For weeks now, lakhs of people in Assam are on the streets, demanding scrapping of the legislation which allows “persecuted” non-Muslims from three neigbouring countries to become Indian citizens.

The CAA has split open an old wound in the state where the majority of the people, those who identify themselves as indigenous, have been demanding deportation of all “illegal migrants”, irrespective of religion. CAA, for those opposed to it, negates every gain made from the 1985 Assam Accord, signed after a six-year-long anti-foreigner agitation. The ruling BJP has tried to pacify the people, saying that not more than five lakh “persecuted Hindus” will...



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